Liverpool Mercury, June 4th 1896

Suicide of a St Helens coachman

Mr BRIGHOUSE, county coroner held an inquest at St Helens yesterday on Edward BENNINGTON, the late coachman to Messers Pilkington Bros, who died on Tuesday morning from injuries inflicted upon himself the previous Friday evening, Mrs BINNINGTON, said her husband had "grazed" one of his legs against the carriage a week or two ago, he was attended by Dr KNOWLES and never seemed to have any sleep afterwards, and ate nothing until Friday. He was very strange in his manner that day, and in the evening hearing a noise, her daughter rushed to his bedroom and found he had cut his throat with a knife. Mary BINNINGTON, the daughter, next gave evidence, but had to be removed from the room in a fainting condition. George CRITCHLEY, of Phythian St, said he was passing at the time and was called in. He went to the room and found BINNINGTON cutting his throat, he rushed at BINNINGTON to stop him, but the unfortunate fellow turned on him and as he was defenceless, witness had to flee from the room, and held the door until the police came. The jury returned a verdict of suicide while in an unsound state of mind.


Shocking death of a Liverpool Diver

Shocking death of a Liverpool Diver

Liverpool Mercury, Oct 1st, 1896

Shocking death of a Liverpool Diver

Yesterday, a Liverpool diver named William STOREY, of 8 Toxteth St, was engaged in the pursuance of his risky occupation when he met with his death under strange and peculiar circumstances. It seems that STOREY, a man of middle age and great experience, was in the employ of Messers John GIBNEY and Co, divers of Chapel St in this city, and yesterday at about 1pm he was working with two other men at the steamship Gulf of Taranto, lying in the Hornby Dock. The valve in the hull of the vessel required repair, and to enable this work to be carried out it was necessary that a "pad" should be fixed on the hull, so that the valve might be removed for repair without risking the flooding of the ship. This is the work that STOREY had to accomplish. A stage or platform was lowered alongside the vessel, and STOREY, properly equipped in his diving-suit, went below. He signalled to John GIBNEY the man in charge of the life-line to lower the stage. This was done and the next signal called for the "pad" A few minutes after the "pad" was lowered, GIBNEY states he received the signal "All right" which meant that the valve could be removed any moment. On board the vessel was Mr James M'KAY, superintendent engineer of the Gulf Line of steamers, and as soon as the word was received from the divers the valve was unscrewed. Mr M'KAY then called attention to the fact that the "pad" was leaky. Water was spurting in then the next moment a portion of the pad and the diver's arm were forced through the aperture. About this moment STOREY signalled to be drawn up, but the pressure of the water increased tremendously by the suction through the now open valve, jammed him tight against the vessel, and hauling him to the surface proved a matter of great difficulty. Mr M'KAY forced the diver's arm out through the aperture again, but the combined efforts of three men, instead of the customary one were necessary before the poor fellow was got out of the water. He was then unconscious and apparently dead, the sleeve of his diving-dress considerably torn, having been damaged by the violence with which his arm had been forced through the valve hole. When his headgear was removed it was found that he had been bleeding badly from the ears. The Bootle Fire Brigade horse ambulance was promptly summoned and STOREY was taken to Bootle Hospital. Upon arrival he was examined by Dr JONES, house-surgeon, who pronounced life extinct. Appearances hardly point to drowning and it seems more probable the unfortunate diver was either suffocated when his dress was torn open at the sleeve, or that the life was crushed out of him against the side of the vessel when the valve was removed without the "pad" apparently being properly secured. Mr BRIGHOUSE was communicated with and an inquest will be held in due course

Liverpool Mercury, Oct 3rd, 1896

Inquest and verdict

The coroner's inquiry into the circumstances attending the death of William STOREY, the diver who met his death on Wednesday afternoon while at work under water at the Hornby Dock, was held yesterday at Bootle Court, before Mr S. BRIGHOUSE. Mr PAXTON appeared for Messers John GIBNEY and Co, master divers Chapel St, Liverpool, who had employed STOREY, Mr RODNEY appeared for Messers C and H. CRICHTON, employers of the men on board the vessel upon which the deceased was engaged, Mr PENKETH appeared for the widow.

Mrs STOREY gave evidence that the deceased was her husband, he was 53, and lived at 8 Toxteth St. He had been a diver for close upon 30yrs, and was a strong healthy man who had never suffered from fits or heart disease.

Joseph GIBNEY testified that he was employed by Messers GIBNEY, master divers and on Wednesday on the orders of Messers CRICHTON, he, went with STOREY and a man named John PRICE to the S.S Gulf of Taranto in the Hornby Dock. They had to send a diver down to put a pad over a hole in the ship's hull in order that a valve might be removed. A platform was lowered by the vessel, STOREY stood on this stage and was lowered under water. Witness was in charge of the operations, the signal "All right" came up this was an intimation that the valve might be taken off, this being done from inside the vessel. Mr M'KAY came to witness and said the pad was leaking a little, at the moment a signal was given to haul up the diver, this was attempted to no avail, the diver was fast in some way, he called the man tending the air pipe even with his help it was impossible to raise the diver. He asked for assistance from a flatman with the combined efforts of the three of them they managed to raise the diver. Witness rapidly took of the diver's mouthpiece and saw STOREY was apparently dead.

In reply to the Coroner witness said, the deceased was about 12ft under the water and from the time the signal came to pulling him up only minutes had elapsed. Witness was in charge of the operation he was 24yrs old and had 9yrs. experience of diving work. When asked did he know the deceased dress was broken, the witness replied, he did when he got no signal to show he was all right, the air stopped escaping to the top of the water, then we had to get him up, it was life or death.

The Coroner elicited the information that the ship's hull was covered with a perforated metal rose, after the style of a rose on a watering can. Witness said, this rose was normally affixed to the skin of the vessel but in the present case it was affixed to the valve, this was important and the diver ought to have been told of it. Had witness known of it he would have used a wooden plug to stop up the hole instead of a pad to cover it. Although the diver's sleeve was broken the air would have had to pass his mouth before it escaped, and he could have breathed if the dress was not filled with water. There was no sign of water when witness took off the mouthpiece.

Witness was then examined by Mr T. CLARKE, the foreman of the Jury, When the valve was taken out the rose would go with it. The pressure of water would then carry the ??????? through the hole if the arm was near, the pad might go through the hole as well. The hole was six inches in diameter. The Superintendent engineer of the steamship company then gave evidence.

The post mortem results were then given, by Dr SPARLING, the skin of the deceased was a dusky colour. Blood had oozed from the right ear and there was a large bruise on the upper part of the left forearm and elbow. There were no broken bones or injuries that might have caused death. The vessels of the brain were congested but the brain tissue healthy. The lungs were very much congested and there was a good deal of mucus in the bronchial tubes. The small air vessels of the lungs were ruptured by the efforts to inspire. The heart was flabby and rather fatty, the valves being more or less closed, especially the mitrial and aortic. The blood throughout the body was a dark colour, a marked indication of suffocation. The cause of death was suffocation.

In reply to the Coroner, the deceased being a man with a weak heart would died much sooner from suffocation than a healthier person and the shock of finding himself in a dangerous situation would also tend to procure death in a man with a weak heart.

At the request of Mr PENKETH evidence was given by PRICE who had charge of the air-line and one of the men in charge of the pump.

Joseph GIBNEY also recalled, stated when he noticed the air bubbles had ceased to rise he shouted to the men at the pump to pump as fast as they could The Coroner then addressed the jury, summing up the evidence and pointing out it was for them to decide whether any one was criminally liable for the death of the diver, they could express an opinion as to what led up to the suffocation which according to the medical evidence was the direct cause of death, or they could leave that pint alone.

After deliberation in private the jury found that death was due to suffocation, but how that was brought about they were unable to say. The Coroner pointed out that it would be better if they would particularise what man of men they thought were to blame. After another retirement the Foreman of the jury announced that their verdict was the same as before, they had decided not to add a rider.

Liverpool Mercury, Oct 5th, 1896

Funeral of the Liverpool diver.

The remains of William STOREY, Diver, were interred yesterday morning in Toxteth Park Cemetery in the presence of a large number of friends. The deceased who was an experienced diver unfortunately met his death last W Wednesday while working on the steamship Gulf of Taranto in the Hornby Dock.

The chief mourners were, Mrs STOREY [widow], Miss STOREY and Mrs ROYL [daughters] Master Fred STOREY [son], Mr T. K. STOREY [brother] Mr Adam BATHGATE [brother-in-law], Mrs BATHGATE, Mrs MORGAN [sisters-in-law], Miss E. WILSON [niece]. Among those at the graveside were, Captain HARRISON, Mr J. MARSH [ex-superintendent Engineers Salvage Association] Captain T. GARDINER and Messers G. RODERICK, J. CITERNE, M. TAGGART, A. MARSHALL, T. CAPEY and J. RAILTON [divers], and Mr J. M'NAUGHT [representing underwriters], Mr R. DIXON, Mr T. LOUTTIT, Captain LEYFOUR, Messers RUSSELL, WHITE, ATKINS, WILLIAMS, PEARCE, BELL, J. HUGHES, D. M'CLOUD, W. BOARD, C. MORGAN, H. GRAYDON etc.

The coffin was covered with beautiful wreaths and the brass shield bore the inscription, "William STOREY, died September 30. 1896, aged 53 years." Messers THOMAS PORTER and Sons of Toxteth Park, carried out the funeral arrangements.


Liverpool Mercury, Nov 17th 1896

The funeral of Dr John CUNNINGHAM, Lincoln House, Seabank Rd, Liscard, whose death from morphia poisoning was reported last week took place yesterday at Rake Lane Cemetery.

Dr Edward Kelsall LEVER died yesterday at his residence Church St, Southport, his death was unexpected and created a painful impression. The deceased was 61 years of age and enjoyed a large private practise. He had been invited to enter the town council but declined, the only public position he accepted was that of medical officer under the Factory Acts.

The funeral of Mr John LANCASTER, proprietor of the Shaftsbury Theatre, London and principal of the Harpurhey Dyeworks, Manchester, who drowned in the sea at Blackpool on Thursday, took place at Salford Cemetery yesterday afternoon.

Drowning mystery at Runcorn

Yesterday afternoon at Runcorn Police Court, Mr J. E. WORSLEY, coroner, held an inquest on the body of Annie CARROLL, aged 29, wife of John CARROLL, engineer on a Ship Canal tug, Bridgewater Undertaking, who was found drowned in the Bridgewater Canal on Friday night. Evidence showed that the woman had been seriously ill for some weeks, suffering from amongst other things a rare kind of skin disease, but, in the opinion of the medical attendant was convalescent. On Thursday during the temporary absence of her mother-in-law, the deceased left the house not fully attired, and was not seen alive again. Police-constable GREGORY said at the point where the body was found it was possible that the woman had tripped over some ropes and had fell into the water. It was the place where her husband's boat was usually moored. An open verdict was returned.


Liverpool Mercury, Dec 18th, 1896

Coroner's Inquests, before Mr E. GIBSON, Deputy Coroner, Tues Dec 17th.

Fatal Falls

In regard to the death of a dock labourer, Thomas RICE, Fairclough Lane, aged 37, whose death occurred in the Northern Hospital on Tuesday. Early on the morning of that day the deceased left home to look for work and got a job to assist in discharging a steamer. Whilst so engaged he fell from a staging, apparently having slipped into the hold of the vessel. When taken up he was unconscious and was found at the Northern Hospital to have a fractured skull, from which he died a few hours afterwards, verdict, "Accidental death."

Also on the death of William KERR, dock labourer, aged 35, who lodged in Townsend St. On Wednesday the deceased who had been drinking, was going upstairs when he fell and dislocated his neck, death was almost instantaneous, verdict, "Accidental death."

Sad death of a child

As to the death of Julia Ann CULLEN, aged 3, daughter of a carter of Lancaster St. On Tuesday morning the deceased and another child aged 4, were left asleep in bed together. When the mother again went into the bedroom the younger child was dead, and the arms of the other child were tightly clasped round its neck. Medical evidence attributed death to suffocation, and the jury found that it was the result of an accident.

Fatality at a Railway Station

Upon the body of James BATE, aged 39, a servant in the employment of the London and North-western Railway Company, who lived in a court off Portland Place. On Tuesday the deceased was working at the Waterloo Rd, Goods Station, when he was knocked down and run over by an empty waggon. It was thought he crossed the line with a tarpaulin sheet on his head, and did not see the waggon approaching, verdict, "Accidental death."

Severe censure on a mother

With regard to the death of Mary Jane GILHOOLEY, aged 4mths, daughter of a dock labourer, who lives in Newhall St. The mother gave evidence to the effect that during the early hours of Wednesday she awoke and found the child in what she thought was a fit - Questioned by the Coroner, she admitted she went to sleep again with the child by her side. She woke again at 7am and took the child to the South Dispensary. She could not say whether the child was dead or alive. When she arrived at the dispensary she was told that it was dead. - Witness in answer to the Coroner, said that she had, had six children, only one of whom was now alive. None of them lived over 16mths, and the cause of their deaths was convulsions. - Dr SHAW, head surgeon at the South Dispensary, said that when the deceased was brought there life was extinct, the child had been dead for at least an hour. The cause of death was suffocation. - The Coroner referred to the unsatisfactory evidence of Mrs GILHOOLEY. Having regard to the fact that she had lost four babies before, she should have known how to treat the child. - The jury returned an open verdict, and expressed the opinion that the mother was deserving of a severe reprimand - The Coroner addressing the mother said she had totally neglected her duty, if a similar occurrence happened again, she would probably get into serious trouble.

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